THOMSON, Ga. (WJBF) – The Department of Labor reports there are more than 300,000 apprentices in the country. Some people in McDuffie County are hoping to create even more.
The apprenticeship program in Thomson has been rebranded as JumpStart. It’s been two years in the making. Now many students will be getting a head start on their promising careers.
“I like hands-on things,” said Justin Grissom. He’s a senior at Thomson High.
On October 15, many students at Thomson High School were busy learning about what they can do in life as JumpStart kicked off. Several business professionals from Thomson and surrounding areas were at the event.
Grissom said, “It opens up a lot of opportunities like welding. I got into that from
JumpStart is a partnership between the McDuffie County School System, UGA and the McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce to get students interested in hands-on careers.
Debbie Jones with the Chamber of Commerce said, “To take these students in and help mentor them. And prepare them for the next step. We have got to really get control and prepare our next generation of workers.”
Right now, experts say there is a worker shortage in jobs that don’t require a college degree.
Organizers hope the JumpStart program will help change that.
“So many times we have preached to kids that college is the only way and while college is great for some kids, it’s not for all. And someone will go straight to work and someone will want to get those hands-on skills early. We want to make sure those opportunities are available to them and that we’re doing our part to get those opportunities in place,” explained Thomson High School Counselor Ashley Morey.
The McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce is hoping to continue the JumpStart program.